The woman I babysat for in college (and then had as one of my bridesmaids because even though she’s older than me, we became besties) almost always had a 9×13 of banana cake with cream cheese icing on the countertop. It was her husband’s fave. I would play the old “clean up the edges” game with that cake like it was my job (when my job was, in fact, babysitting).
I love the idea of banana cake but have been disappointed with my past efforts as it just tastes like a frosted banana muffin. I was sifting through an old recipe folder and discovered her banana cake recipe! I decided to make cupcakes instead (which, by the way, you can do with pretty much any cake recipe) as they’re easier to disperse and/or freeze. As I looked over the ingredient list I realized there was no spices – I would typically add cinnamon in the past or some nutmeg which threw things into the muffin direction. These are light and fluffy and very sweet. With the tangy cream cheese frosting all the right spots are hit. This is simple perfection at its baking best.
Also – a last tip. NEVER throw a banana away. Wait until three (or 6, or 9) are grossly spotted (this means the starch to sugar conversion has occurred and they’re ultra sweet). Mash them and place in a ziplock bag. Freeze, and when you’re ready to bake, you have your bananas ready!
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes two dozen
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
11 tbsp. butter, softened
1 2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. skim milk
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/4 c. very (VERY) ripe mashed bananas (about 3)
16 oz. cream cheese, softened but still cool
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 tbsp. lowfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with liners.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about five minutes on medium high speed with electric mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed butter mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Combine bananas, milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl.
6. Add flour and banana mixture to butter mixture, alternately, starting and ending with dry. Beat each time, just until combined, on low with electric mixer. Be careful not to overmix.
7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin liners, filling about 2/3 of the way full.
8. Bake for 20-23 minutes, changing the location of the trays in the middle of the bake time.
9. Let cool for several minutes and remove to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To make frosting, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until smooth. Add vanilla and beat. Add powdered sugar and, starting on low, beat until combined.
11. Frost cupcakes once completely cool and store in the fridge (can be made up to two days ahead of serving).